The Mystery Shopper & The Hot Tub: Book One Of The De’ath Family Antics
Published January 22, 2021 by In Jest
Brooke’s a gorgeous young mum who lives in Essex. Her favourite things in life:
- Her baby, Paige
- Husband Dean
- Hot tubs
- OK! magazine
All that’s missing is the hot tub. Brooke’s bored at home and wants financial independence, but mostly a hot tub and Dean’s a man with traditional values and he doesn’t want Brooke to work. She secretly takes a job at a nearby country house, meeting the incorrigible Lady Townsend. This unlikely friendship, plus some jaw-dropping events, helps Brooke realise that she’s capable of so much more than she thought.
Dean is a devoted husband and father, and, knowing what Brooke wants most of all in life, he secretly takes up mystery shopping hoping to make some extra money to pay for it. And if he gets some peace and quiet whilst doing so, all the better.
The elaborate web of lies they both weave results in numerous madcap situations, but can their deceit undermine the love that they have?
My Review 🛒🛒🛒🛒
Thank you for the opportunity to read and review the first in the “De’Ath Family Antics” stories. This book was a fun escape and I enjoyed it very much.
The story centers around Brooke and Dean, a young couple with a 1-year-old daughter. Brooke is a stay-at-home-mom, middle class but desperate to show the world her “successful” life through her designer clothes and high-end baby items. Dean is making his way up the corporate ladder, just not as fast as Brooke would like.
When Brooke decides she MUST have a hot tub, Dean decides to moonlight as a secret shopper in order to earn the money to pay for it. He loves Brooke, and wants to give her everything he can to keep her happy. (And, at home). He chooses, however, not to tell her about this little side-job. Chaos ensues as he finds himself in a number of awkward and hilarious situations, trying to keep this secret life from his wife.
Sneaky-as-her-husband Brooke has a few secrets of her own. She has decided she wants to work. And since Dean is not co-signing on that adventure, she has to keep it hush-hush.
As the story progresses, both Brooke and Dean test the limits of their honesty and moral code to ultimately get what they want.
As I was reading, I tried to answer the question, “Who lies better- men or women?”
This story shows they are both pretty good at it. Which, is kind of sad and scary all at once. (Me? I was raised Catholic, so I wear my guilt right up on my face next to my sweet little nose). There is a bit of a serious side to this story, as we do see the aftereffects of the secrets this couple keeps from each other. Ultimately, the truth comes out, which makes for a nice transition into Book #2.
Field does a great job of keeping the reader on its feet. There were a few times I tried to find the relevance in a certain situation or comment made but chalked it up to being the first in the series. She is not afraid to use slang (fellatio comes up a few times, although just in conversation), and there are a few sexual insinuations……but overall, a PG-13 rated book. I am looking forward to seeing these characters again, especially Letitia Townsend. Now that woman has a story, I just KNOW it. Hugo the butler, Chloe the office mate and Martin, Dean’s BFF round out a fun cast of characters.
A solid 4-star read that sold me on reading future books in the series.
About the Author
Helen Field is a business woman, writer, publisher of greetings cards, funny poet, speaker, traveller and author of The Mystery Shopper & The Hot Tub.
She was born and brought up in Waltham Abbey in Essex and currently lives in a small village in North West Essex, so it would be fair to say she has earned her “Essex girl” badge!
Helen has had a varied and interesting career in retail and hospitality in UK, Europe and USA, including setting up and running her own restaurant. She runs her own training consultancy to the hospitality industry. One element of her business has been designing and implementing mystery shopper programmes all over the UK for some of the most well-known organisations. With inside knowledge of the industry and armed with thousands of funny mystery shopping incidents, she was inspired to write her debut novel, The Mystery Shopper & The Hot Tub.
Helen has recently spent time combining work and writing with travelling with her husband, including four months in Europe in a 20 year old campervan, a completely wild four-month ride round India by train and a month in an isolated log cabin in Finland.
She rides a motorbike and has three talented and amazing grown up children.
P.s. She doesn’t have a hot tub… yet!